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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 3:13 AM
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Steely Dan Steely Dan is online now
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Cool Urban kayaking - the Chicago River: south branch

well, since my north branch tour was so well received, i decided to to a
south branch tour before the paddling season ended. once again i put in at
the mouth of the river by LSD, i then paddled down the main branch to wolf
point, then turning left down the south branch. i paddled all the way south
and west to ashland, where i then paddled the full length of bubbly creek up
and down, then came back to the south branch and headed west into the
chicago sanitary and ship canal, getting as far west as the kedzie bridge, i
then turned around and paddled back to the public boat ramp at western
avenue. then i folded up my boat, slung it on my back and hoofed it over to
the orange line stop in mckinley park and rode the el back home. all in all it was
a 11 mile, 5 hour kayak exploration extravaganza.

the weather this past saturday was absolutely terrible for photography, but
i've done my best to get these as good as i could. the real intent is to show
the river as it is anyway, so the gloomy overcast kinda works with the
heavily industrial south branch.

in case you missed, here is a link to the north branch thread:
http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=159531


map




1. i was treated to the LSD bridge opening up for some sailboats just before i left.




2. trump with his head in the clouds




3. home sweet home




4. i just absolutely LOVE 55 west wacker. i really, really do




5. 353 north clark rises behind the westin




6. it's really best to just not talk about it




7. beaux arts and art deco together at last




8. 300 north lasalle stretches skyward




9. last time we went right on the north branch, this time we're headed left on
the south branch. SCROLL------------------------------------->




10. this is a cute little train switching house left from the olden days




11. ivy, bricks, water and glass - the elements of the city.




12. city texture




13. the boeing building from the water




14. the buildings of gateway center




15. insull's magnificent throne, the civic opera building




16. architectural surgery at the medium old mercantile exchange




17. i don't remember the name of this one, but it's quite nice. sears in the clouds behind




18. looking straight-up




19. modern generica at gateway center




20. looking back north down the south branch canyon




21. this one was recently reclad. looks pretty good.




22. tall




23. new condo towers along wells




24. looking back, the old post office on the left




25. my spidey sense is tingling, were about to experience some coolness




26. bertrand goldberg's wonderful river city





27. urban corridor




28. looking back towards the textures of the loop




29. the massive mixed-use roosevelt collection complex under construction




30. i don't know what it is, but it's cool, so i like it




31. the new southside skyline pano SCROLL------------------------->




32. what's my avatar doing floating in the river?




33. YES! YES! YES! THIS ROCKS!




34. NO! NO! NO! DON"T STOP ROCKING!




35. echos of big john. do you think fazlur might have ever kayaked down the river for inspiration?




36. the 18th street bridge. we're getting close to chinatown




37. beautiful ping tom park with an orange line train rumbling by in the background




38. a groovy old loft building opposite ping tom park




39. urban texture back over my shoulder




40. one museum park looms over ping tom park




41. it's official: steel is the most kick-ass building material of all time!




42. steel, steel, steel......... i like steel




43. these railroad bridges just rule. fortunately, we'll see several more along the tour.




44. the canal street bridge



45. lawrence's fisheries, a locally famous south branch eatery




46. the cermack bridge, this one is cool because it's one of the last rolling lift bridges.





47. a cool old loft building




48. the ozinga concrete plant




49. the dan ryan expressway bridge floats high above the river because
expressways can't have draw bridges




50. underneath the dan ryan.




51. the halsted street bridge




52. the fisk power plant taking in a barge load of coal




53. a cool little building at the fisk plant. look at the care they used to take
even with simple little utilitarian industrial buildings.




54. industry is cool




55. i don't know what tower this is, but i liked the massive antenna




56. your guess is as good as mine




57. another barge full of coal heading up to the fisk plant. loomis bridge in the background




58. this is one of the long slips that stretches north from the south branch




59. another long slip. this was the lumber center of the world back in the 19th century




60. and now we come to the junction with bubbly creek. the creek is off to the
left, the south branch continues on to the right. we're gonna detour here and
come back to the south branch after exploring bubbly creek. SCROLL ------->




61. the entrance to bubbly creek




62. this is the 1st of 4 bridges right in a row at the start of bubbly creek.
this is a cool old railroad bridge, then there is the CTA orange line, then the
stevenson expressway, and finally archer avenue.




63. yes virginia, bubbly creek still bubbles to this very day




64. beneath the quad bridges




65. orange line stop is close by. good to know




66. bubbly creek is a really peaceful and placid body of water. how far it's
come from the days when it was choked with rotting animal carcasses




67. newish single family home development on the banks of bubbly creek




68. more newish homes




69. nice loft building




70. i couldn't figure out what this building was, but my guess is water treatment facility




71. this is the end of bubbly creek at it exists today. we gotta turn around
and head back north to the south branch




72. the 35th street bridge crossing bubbly creek




73. sears looms over bridgeport homes




74. canal origins park at the mouth of bubbly creek




75. a skyline view




76. the sailboats from earlier in the morning finally caught up to me at ashland




77. the damen bridge. this one is not as cool as the damen bridge on the north branch




78. abandoned grain elevator decorated with graffiti




79. at damen, the river technically ends and the chicago sanitary & ship canal begins





80. a big old barge





81. yes! more coolness dead ahead




82. yes! coolness!




83. i'm speechless




84. industry




85. the california bridge. it's a basculle bridge, but it has no bridge control towers. odd.




86. more bridge awesomeness. this time a swing bridge!




87. what a beauty




88. a detail shot of the swing axle pylon




89. a bridge too far. there was another cool swing bridge about a half-mile down
the river, but at this point, i've paddled about 11 miles and i'm just simply out
of gas. so i turned around just past kedzie and headed back to western




90. a neat little railroad bridge across the mouths of one of the side slips. i
have no idea how this bridge opened, but there's some mechanical stuff you
can see on the left.




91. industry




92. industry




93. the public boat ramp and launch dock at western




94. thanks for coming along on the paddle with me, until next time...........

Last edited by Steely Dan; Oct 29, 2008 at 3:27 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 3:34 AM
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YES!!!
Awesome industrial/infrastructural thunder down that way. The shot under the 18th St bridge is really cool.

-

For my money, overcast is best for photography. No harsh shadows or glare like on a cloudless day.

-

That's gross that the creek still bubbles.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 4:20 AM
SuburbanNation SuburbanNation is offline
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i just came blood.

although i hate your hat.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 4:38 AM
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will you take me with you next time? PLEEEASE?

SuburbanNation...you should get that checked out...
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 4:45 AM
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Dan

Without getting over emotional and weepy for I had a great post about your new thread but was blocked because of too many peeps on the line.

The point is is that I like this south side photo blog even better than your journey north that was so popular.

I hope you get my drift.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 5:25 AM
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Great pictures. I remember seeing that train-switching house while on a boat tour, but I thought it might have been a leftover regular house.

By the way, Tonawanda, New York (near Buffalo) was the largest lumber port in the world by the 1890s, passing Chicago. I know that because my mom is from there.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 5:58 AM
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These tours of the river are boss.


So is this picture.

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Last edited by ltsmotorsport; Oct 29, 2008 at 6:27 AM.
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 6:35 AM
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Positively kick-ass! Thanks for grabbing all of these photos (I've photographed from a canoe a couple of times and found it quite difficult--maybe a kayak is more stable, though). Those bridges are...amazing.



^This thing kind of looks like the weird/giant bomb that that farmer had in a shed in Hot Fuzz...good thing you didn't touch it.
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 12:55 PM
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Power Plant



Thanks for all the bridges.
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 1:29 PM
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Great Tour Dan. This is a real treat. I love the bridge pics. So much to explore down there. Thanks!
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 3:08 PM
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Jasper would approve of all this paddlin'
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 3:22 PM
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Love the river tours. Can't wait for more.
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 3:56 PM
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Steely Dan Steely Dan is online now
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thanks for the compliments everyone.



Quote:
Originally Posted by brickell View Post
Love the river tours. Can't wait for more.
well, the next paddle tour on my list is the rivers of milwaukee. i'm free this saturday, but the forecast in milwaukee says a high of 48. that doesn't sound like fun for 5 or more hours of paddling. however, if we do get a warm-up weekend (upper 50s or better) sometime in november, i think i'm gonna pull the trigger and just do it. if not, my next adventure is gonna have to wait until spring
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Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 4:22 PM
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Is the kayak lake worthy?
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 29, 2008, 4:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brickell View Post
Is the kayak lake worthy?
not really. it's just a little 10' fold-up kayak that's intended for flat water use. the lake can occasionally be really flat when the winds are right, but conditions can also change real fast out on the lake, so i'm hesitant to test it out.

but i recently passed my sailing certification with Sail Chicago, so as soon as the sail boats go back in the water next spring, i'll have lake sailboat access whenever i want, so expect some lake perspective sailboat photo tours next year.

Last edited by Steely Dan; Oct 29, 2008 at 5:40 PM.
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  #16  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 12:59 AM
SkokieSwift SkokieSwift is offline
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Steely, this was an awesome tour. Great shots of bridges to somewhere.
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  #17  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 1:27 AM
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AWESOME.

if you like industry you should do the calumet into NW indiana, that would be awesome. if the heavily polluted waters dont eat through your kayak. lol.
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 3:02 AM
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Awesome and unique hobby. Thanks for the new perspective on things.

How about a River Rouge trip in Detroit?
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 3:11 AM
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That's one of the best threads EVER! Wow!
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  #20  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 3:36 AM
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That was just a great follow-up to your Northern trek.
Look forward to more.
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